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  • ★★★★-4

Review: Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo (Spoiler Alert)

Our bodies are food for worms. Why should our souls not be made meals too?

This was one hell of a sequel.

See what I did there? Darlington would have rolled his eyes at that one.

I always find it hard to review sequels, especially good sequels, because so much of what makes one great stems from the same praise I sang for the first book. Hell Bent is no exception. Much like Ninth House, this book shines in its character work, worldbuilding, and magic system. Leigh Bardugo's work with tragic backstories remains piercing as ever and her historical research reaches even greater heights. The attention to detail when it comes to architecture, language, mythology, etc. is truly unmatched.

The plot in this installment was slightly less sharp and less shocking (besides the VAMPIRES?? HELLO?) and I think the structure could have used some refining, but it was still a WILD ride. I read 400 of the 500 pages over the course of two days. Besides that, there are really only two main things I have gripe with:

1. Mercy joining the team with little to no resistance or consequence felt shallow and entirely too convenient. I LOVE Mercy as a character and understand the importance of her and Lauren's roles as Alex's real "life" friends outside of the magic and terror, but the way she was pulled into the plot almost instantly just did not seem plausible.

2. Darlington's glowstick monster cock. No, I will not be elaborating. I was already accosted with that mental image far too much.

Anyway, I absolutely love this world, these characters, and this series overall. I cannot wait for the final installment. I would like to put an official prediction on the record that the cover will be red, feature a ram, and be called Blood Bound.

And finally, but seriously. Did his cock HAVE to be glowing??


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